Internet Proxy Settings Aggravation

One of the thing that annoys me often about working on a laptop is the internet proxy settings of different applications. Like many of us these days whenever I move between networks I not only need to set proxy settings for IE and FF, I also need to set proxy settings for other applications that do not seem to be capable of using system proxy.

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IT@Home: Backing up my Ubuntu box

After much procrastination I finally got around to setting up the backup for my Ubuntu box. As little research on the net would indicate, doing a backup for Linux boxes are fairly straight forward with tar and cron doing most of the heavy lifting. Doing a tar on the whole file system is the easiest way to get the job done. Something like the following is usually sufficient.
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IT@Home: Avira Antivir irritations

aviraI have been a Avira Antivir premium subscriber for a while now. It has generally worked ok for me. But I used to have one single big source of irritation and it would crop up now and then. I just discovered one more when I went on an overseas trip recently and had to deal with bad connectivity.

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Visiting Old Country: Little Sign Humor

indiaWhile visiting countries all over the world, signs are  always a source mild humor. Was recently visiting family in Kolkata (aka Calcutta), India. Having left the old country many years ago it is always interesting to observe signs of change blowing through the city and the country, some good and some not so good. There are always interesting sights that draw my attention. I am not good at carrying a camera with me at all times to catch all of these. This time I ran into a few curious signs. Of course the source of this sign humor lies in the idea of what we in the west consider the kosher way to spell or phrase things, and other things they remind us of.

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Grunt 2.0: enabling the humble worker

stressed_outThis is a topic that has touched me and a number of people I know at various workplaces. Big businesses out there seem to be slowly adopting to the 2.0 view of internet empowered reality of ours. They seem to be deploying wiki, blogging, social bookmarking, twittering and other trendy tools of the day to supposedly empower their busy employees. The blogs allow the workers to air their experiences, views and concerns on things that matter to them as corporate citizens. The wikis allow folks in the know to disseminate knowlege. Messaging allows them to keep in touch. Some of these businesses have huge intranet content infrastructure with all kind of very useful and not so useful information. They have spent lot of time and energy deploying these huge information management systems. Some of the more innovative ones are also tapping into the crowd sourcing model of picking their employees brains for the next great innovation. All these has led to a very rich pool of  valuable information for the entire organization. But information is only as good as how usable and accessible they are to get some real work done.

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In-flight DXing

flightOn long flights I sometimes tune my mp3 player to FM stations along the way to see if I can pick up some interesting chatter and try to figure out which state I am flying over. This time on my way out to west coast I did the same and picked up stations in Minnesota, Wyoming, Utah, and few more in between. But in US most stations broadcast syndicated stuff and it is not very interesting in terms of the content because I can often hear the same stuff around Boston. It is also hard to get a lock on a clear signal for any reasonable amount of time. Usually it is not more that 5-10 minutes till the noises drown the signal.  I think on my next flight, hopefully an international one, I will take my ICOM R5 scanner to see if I can do some good AM DXing.

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A Quick trip to Mashup Camp #7

mashup

This week I was in the bay area on a business trip. Like the last one it was a strangely serendipitous thing that the latest Mashup Camp in Mountain View was scheduled the same days I was visiting the area. Not sure exactly why but it seems most of these unconferences tend to happen out west more often. I was only able to squeeze in one day’s visit to the event. Better than missing it altogether.

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